GEPP Legal Debate

On Wednesday, 18th November 2015, four Brentwood School Lower Sixth Form pupils took part in the prestigious, long-established law-firm Gepp & Sons’ Inter-School Annual Legal Debate Competition at the Post Graduate Medical Institute at Anglia Ruskin University, in Chelmsford.

A distinguished panel of top legal brains judged the 7th Annual Schools Legal Debate where Brentwood School orators competed against seven other local schools. The talking point: ‘This House would raise the legal age of criminal intent from 10 to 14.’

This year’s debaters were Daniel Blockley, Emily Kiernan, Chris Matthews, Eloise McIlwraith and Oliver Swainbank. They worked hard researching the subject, writing their own speeches, and rehearsing to make sure they both read well and kept within the time limit of two minutes per person.

The team fielded some difficult questions from an Appeal Court Judge, one of the second most senior circle of judges in the country, in which they were asked to distinguish between wanting to do something and knowing something is wrong.

The panel of distinguished judges included The Right Hon Lord Justice Burnett, Her Honour Judge Walden-Smith, His Honour Judge Gratwicke, His Honour Judge Lodge, Her Honour Judge Murfitt and Judge Advocate Elsom.

The Brentwood pupils also met lawyers and partners currently practising law and gained an understanding of what lawyers do on a day-to-day basis.

Guest speakers were Helen Carter, Governor of HM Prison Chelmsford, and Amber Roswell, trainee solicitor for and on behalf of CORAM Children's Legal Centre, who were joined by distinguished members of the legal profession, council and community organisations. Also, Chelsea Pensioners, David and Thomas Lyall, Colour Sergeant Chris Ferrett, of the Royal Marines, and Staff Sergeant Andrew Gibson of the British Army.

This is the second time Brentwood has taken part in the debate. Last year the team reached the final and won one of the two individual awards for best speaker. Although they did not reach the final this year, the team did themselves and Brentwood School proud and we would like to congratulate them in their valiant efforts.